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Rhubarb companion plants are an excellent addition to your garden. They fit right in with the rhubarb harvest, and many will provide you with more edible choices fresh from your food garden, you will see your garden thriving with so many different choices.
However, rhubarb companion planting can be tricky as it cannot thrive with every other vegetable. You must take the utmost care when going companion hunting for your rhubarb garden.
Read this article, to know all about the best ones to plant next to your Rhubarb, and all their requirements and benefits.
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List of Rhubarb Companion Plants for Your Garden
For companion planting, rhubarb gardens are valuable, as you get an essential ingredient of many salads, dishes, and desserts from your garden. But you can get more value out of that space if you plant rhubarb with others.
While attempting to diversify your garden, you might end up choosing bad companion plants for rhubarb and hurting your harvest, and that is something we need to avoid at all costs. Here, we will only look at companion plants that you can grow rhubarb with while avoiding any trouble.
Cauliflower is a vegetable in the brassica family that contains many cruciferous plants. Other member of this family would include broccoli, cabbage, and turnips.
– Pairing Benefits
Cauliflowers go very well with rhubarb as a companion plant, and their leaves look a lot like rhubarb leaves. They can easily share the same space without harming or hindering one another or the growth of the other. Furthermore, cauliflower benefits significantly as a companion plant because of rhubarb’s ability to repel white flies.
In addition to all these benefits, cauliflower is a great vegetable to cultivate and harvest. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that finds value in many cuisines around the globe, hence it is a popular vegetable to use as you grow them next to your rhubarb.
Adding such a versatile plant to your garden will surely add value and variety to your garden and food.
– Growth and Care
There are several different varieties of cauliflower to choose from. All of them require slightly different conditions to thrive, and the best suited to you will be the one that will match your local climate.
Note that when you are growing the cauliflowers, they thrive in well-drained and moist soil. This will keep the plant moisturized without having the chance of root rot from excessive water. Without moist and fertile soil, it is not worth cultivating the plant, as it requires a steady stream of water and nutrients during the early growth stages.
Proper watering is vital, so the plant grows healthy with a rich flavor. If their water requirements are not met, it will not only hinder their growth, but they can also develop unpleasant flavors. If your area does not receive adequate rain, compensate for this loss by manual watering.
Check for weeds frequently in your cultivation to get rid of them before they become a severe problem.
In addition, the cauliflower can be cultivated or propagated by growing seeds indoors, replanting them later, or directly sowing them in your garden. Both methods require you to take special care of these plants in their early stages.
Garlic is another great companion in a rhubarb garden. It is a widely used herb worldwide for its taste and smell. This herb is related to onions, leeks, and chives.
– Pairing Benefits
Garlic has a strong smell, which helps keep many pests away from the crops. Rhubarbs are significantly susceptible to weevil attacks, but this problem can be safely avoided by planting garlic with rhubarb. However, it is crucial to keep a lookout for onion maggots, as they can threaten garlic.
Garlic is an excellent choice as a companion plant with the rhubarb, as these herbs’ growth does not hinder or harm rhubarb plants in any way. On the contrary, it is a great way to keep them growing with all means of protection.
– Growth and Care
The cultivation period for different types of garlic depends on the kind of garlic you choose. This choice will be affected by the soil conditions, climate, temperature, and the amount of time you can allocate to take care of your garden.
Garlic plants grow well in loose, well-drained, and moist soil. It is also a keen idea to get your soil tested. You can use well-rotted manure or compost to add nutrients to the soil because these both have organic nutrients in them.
However, you must remember not to use fresh manure, as it may contain harmful bacteria that can harm young garlic plants, as these pests will damage the crop.
Proper watering is essential, as it is with all plants. Always moisten the soil thoroughly, especially during the early growing season. If you have sandy soil, it may require more watering. Two weeks before you harvest, stop the watering cycles to avoid diseases or stains on the bulb wrappers.
– Planting Needs
Different garlic varieties are accustomed to various weather conditions. Which means that, choosing the ones that can survive in your local weather is vital. You must purchase cloves from a garlic seed producer to start growing them. Try to buy them from a specialized seed producer instead of your local grocery store, and they may not do well in your garden.
During the early stages of growth, frequently check for weeds, so you can stop them from damaging the plants. Note that you can always add mulch to reduce weed growth, and you can use straw-free weed seeds as mulch. This way, you would be protecting the plant at all costs when it is growing and blooming.
Kale or cabbage is another member of the brassica family that is primarily cultivated for its edible leaves. It has green or purple leaves, and the central leaves do not form a “head,” as with the cauliflower. Kale is considered to be the closest one to wild cabbage as compared to other members of the brassica family.
– Pairing Benefits
Like cauliflower, this vegetable fits right in with rhubarbs without any hindrance or harm to either of the plants. It is a safe and edible choice, which makes it a great companion plant for rhubarb.
One significant feature of kale is that it is cold-resistant. This means that kale plants will continue to produce leaves even after the frost comes. However, if they are frozen, you can still harvest and cook their leaves without harm.
– Growth and Care
The conditions and planting period for different types of kale will largely depend on your local climate and conditions. These things will affect your choice of kale and its maintenance requirements.
A well draining soil with high organic matter is the ideal soil for growing the kale. This is important so that water won’t stay on top of the soil harming the nutrient and the root of the plant.
In addition, you can send in the soil for testing if you want to ensure it is suitable for harvest. The test will also help you determine which type of fertilizer you should use in the soil. Well-rotted manure can help improve the quality of soil by adding crucial nutrients, because it is organic and filled with the nutrients that the greens need to grow.
Kale can be harvested by direct seeding or transplanting, depending on your preference. For direct seeding, it is best to sow the seeds in early summer as soon as the soil allows it. If you choose to go with transplanting, set the seeds inside for about four weeks before you plant to transplant.
You must be mindful that the most flavorful, tender, and non-bitter leaves result from fast growth without excessive heat and lack of moisture.
Which means that the lack of water or a hot atmosphere will make the plant go dry, hence you must be cautious because this condition can produce chemicals that produce intense or bitter flavors in the harvest.
In addition, for protection against weeds, it is crucial to carry out frequent and shallow cultivation. This process will kill the weeds before they can cause any actual harm to the plants. Mulching with grass or straw that is free from weeds can also help reduce the chances of weed growth.
Beans are another great option as companion plants for rhubarb. Beans are legumes related to peas and lentils. They are one of the most versatile vegetables used in many different dishes while being one of the most nutritious and popular legumes around the world.
– Pairing Benefits
The greatest benefit of planting beans as a companion plant in a rhubarb garden is their nitrogen release. The roots of bean plants contain nodules that release nitrogen directly into the soil. In addition, nitrogen is one of the essential nutrients for plants, and this natural nitrogen dramatically benefits the growth of rhubarb.
But rhubarb is not the only one benefitting from the presence of beans. Beans often struggle with black fly infestations.
This problem is readily solved by having rhubarb as a companion plant to beans. Rhubarb releases oxalic acid, which is a natural repellent for black flies. A mutually healthy relationship between plants is always nice to have.
– Planting Requirements
Beans can be planted directly into the soil. It is better to wait until the soil has warmed to cultivate them because planting beans seeds in cold soil will start to rot instead of germinating. Follow the instructions on the seed packing as small seed beans need to be planted shallower than large ones, so proceed the planting accordingly.
There are several varieties of beans that include snap beans, shelling beans, and dry beans, to name a few. Many of these varieties have different cultivation periods. So, it is essential to keep this factor in mind before you choose to plant some yourself.
– Growth Requirements
Beans grow best in slightly acidic soil, that can have a Clay or loamy texture, which would be perfect for bean production. However, do not use sandy soil, as they do not result in good cultivation.
You can use well-rotted manure or compost to increase the soil’s organic matter, resulting in a better harvest. Note that when using fertilizers, you must not use the ones that include weed killers, as they can also harm your beans and their weeds.
Beans require little watering when they are grown in moisture-retaining soil. But if you are cultivating yours in sandy soil with more drainage, they will need more watering. You can look at how deep the soil is wet using different gardening tools, and if it is only a few inches, keep the water coming.
To avoid damage to the harvest, check for weeds during the early growth stages and nip them in the bud. Beans have some roots close to the soil’s surface, so it is essential not to harm them when cultivating to kill the weeds. Mulching can also help to reduce the weeds in your garden.
Broccoli is another member of the brassica family and an excellent companion plant for rhubarb that not only forms a great match but also benefits from it.
– Pairing Benefits
Like cauliflower, broccoli also benefits from rhubarb’s ability to repel white flies. In addition, broccoli does not absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil, so it does not affect the growth of rhubarb.
The versatility and adaptability of this plant make it a great addition to your rhubarb garden. You can also opt to combine multiple brassica family members with rhubarb, which would make for a great harvest.
– Growth and Care
Like all other entries, broccoli prefers moist and well-drained soil. You can have the soil test, and the results can help you decide which fertilizer best suits your needs. It is not worth cultivating broccoli if it cannot readily absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil.
Broccoli can be grown with both techniques of transplanting and direct seeding. You can start with indoor seeding with a sterile, soilless seeding mix for transplanting.
The plants will grow in the regular summer temperature and germinate in about two weeks. For direct seeding, sow them shallowly and moisten the soil when the plants emerge.
Like other edible plants, broccoli needs good moisture in the soil to develop sweet, flavorful, firm, non-bitter heads. If the plant experiences a lack of water, not only would the taste of the plant head be bad, but its health and quality will also take a hit. Overall, remember that you must keep the soil moist and you can add the necessary amount of water.
It is crucial to consider compatibility when looking for rhubarb companion plants. But luckily, many worthwhile options will add variety to your garden while producing versatile edible vegetables.
When you choose a companion plant, remember the following points:
- Compatibility is an essential factor to consider when looking for companion plants in your rhubarb garden.
- Most companion plants are versatile vegetables requiring similar growth conditions.
- There are many options; the best one for you will depend on your preference.
All these companion plants benefit from or provide a benefit to rhubarb plants. With all this in mind, which one will you choose as a companion plant in your rhubarb garden?